Young people with good family relationships are more likely to intervene when they witness bullying or other aggressive behaviour at school, and to step in if they see victims planning to retaliate, suggests new research.
The findings, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that kids who were already excluded or discriminated against by peers or teachers, were less likely to stand up for victims of bullying.
"There is a lot of research on bullying, but very little on the extent to which family factors affect whether bystanders will intervene if they see bullying," said study lead author Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University in the US.
Peer interventions are very effective at stopping bullying and preventing future aggressive behaviours. However, these interventions are fairly rare, according to Mulvey.
For the study, the team examined 450 sixth grade students and 446 ninth grade students who completed a survey aimed at collecting data on their relationships with family, peers and teachers.